June, 2009 Archives

25
Jun

The Switch

by admin in Spiritual Growth

A Thought Offered By AY Katsof:

Husbands and wives should spoil each other, and parents should educate our kids. How sad that we seem to have made a terrible switch: We spoil our kids and attempt to educate our spouse!

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24
Jun

Da’at Tevunot Class Notes 6-24-09

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

We began on the bottoms of pages 20-24 in The Knowing Heart

The Neshama/Soul did not ask anything about the Sechel/Intellect’s previous introduction, and did not even ask why another introduction was necessary.

The Sechel introduces essential concepts:

Yecholet: Ability

Chuko: God’s Nature and The Nature of God’s Tov/Good

Chochma: Wisdom as applied to creations. Lower level than Yecholet/Chuko

Tzitzum/Constraint is taught as “K’eeloo” – As IF – it is not reality. The nature of the world is a full expression of Hashem’s Tov and Shleimut. (See Sefer Hakelalim : Rishonim #2, Klalei Sefer Milchemet Moshe Klal#2)

Ratzon: Divine (Unlimited) Will

Machashava is NOT Wisdom/Chochma it is a higher level to express Ratzon.

Author Info:

Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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24
Jun

The Violence of Silence

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Relationships, Spiritual Growth

It happened, as I knew it would. We received a hate filled comment to one of our blogs. How sad that such a thing is expected! How frightening that such things are so common that we can laugh and shrug them off!

Then again, I prefer a comment to silence. Not the silence of no comment; we are so inundated with blogs, Tweets and web links that it is impossible to comment on or even read everything we receive. No, it is not a lack of comments that bothers me; it is a refusal to comment, positively or negatively that troubles me.

When someone unsubscribes from our newsletter, I will usually call and ask “why?” Can I improve the newsletters? Do you have any criticisms?

I want to know if you are angry, bothered or bored. Silence.

I asked many friends to write articles for The Foundation Stone, and thank God, almost 100 people have contributed. Two or three say, “I’ll see.” And then, nothing but silence. “Is there something about the website that bothers you? Silence.

Are you too busy? No, I write every day. So, why the silence? Silence.

Such silence is a constant. I have watched people be hurt by others’ silence; they sense that someone is upset with them and they prefer to directly deal with the issue, but often all they get is silence.

No wonder Mitzvah/Concept (#15) is, “You shall not hate someone else in your heart.” Hatred is not the issue as much as the silent “in your heart.” We may not allow three days to pass in which we, hatefully or angrily, refuse every opportunity to say something to someone else. The Torah advises us to, “Rebuke your friend.” (Mitzvah/Concept #16) Tell someone that you are upset or bothered. Your silence my hurt more than your words of rebuke.

Author Info:

Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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18
Jun

Misreadings or Catch Me If You Can

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth, What is the Reason?

I had a great idea for a column on my blog: “No statute has ever been put up to a critic” Sibelius was supposed to have said. What a wonderful opportunity to write about my “What is The Reason?” Column on my website. I had an entire essay mapped out in my head about how the statutes of Judaism have all been tested by numerous critics and yet have stood the test of time and criticism. The only problem is that the quote I read was a misprint: What Sibelius actually, or supposedly said was that “No Statue has ever been put up to a critic.” Oh well! There goes another great idea. I should have realized that it was a misprint the minute I read the quote, but, as we all know, the mind works in mysterious ways, especially when it thinks it has an idea for an essay. I read what I wanted to read, leapt to a conclusion and then soared with an idea, that alas, was not quite true.

The misreading made me consider whether my mind is reliable enough to trust as I study and write. I decided that Misreadings aside, I should trust my mind enough to write a short essay and trust my readers to catch my mistakes.

I am generally more excited about the comments to my articles, blogs and essays than I am to write them. My goal is to generate discussion and intellectual involvement in Judaism and spirituality.

I now have an added incentive to wait for your comments: I count on you to catch my mistakes. I thank you in advance.

Author Info:

Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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18
Jun

Proud To Be A Duns (Dunce): Food For Thought

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

John, Doctor Subtilis, of the village of Duns in Berwickshire, Scotland, (1266-1308) developed the notion of “Haecceity” as a way of giving expression to the uniqueness or the indivisible “thisness” of a person. His followers were called “Dun’s Men” from where we get the notion of a “dunce” or stupid fellow who believes himself subtle.

I don’t know about the subtle part, but I do believe in the importance of appreciating the uniqueness of a person.

A great debate rages in my family whether each of us must first focus on becoming individuals and only then submitting to God or vice versa. Is the submission of a person who does not have a sense of self, worthwhile? Is it too risky to focus on self-development? Even if we acknowledge the importance of developing ourselves: Do we consider the challenges of our times so terrible that we must sacrifice our self-development in order to fight for the Jewish people?

Author Info:

Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

I invite you to join this discussion by commenting below:

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18
Jun

Da’at Tevunot Class 6_17-09

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth

“There will be no eating or drinking”: is only necessary if we exist as we are now; souls and bodies.

“Crowns”: indicate relationship, as with the Mitzvah of Brit Milah/Circumcision which is the shaping of a crown on the place of relationship. The Crowns indicate the level of relationship we have achieved.

“Crowns” are also reminiscent of Sinai when they had two crowns one for “We will Do” and one for “We will relate.” The Crowns were a reflection of what they had achieved through experiencing Revelation. They lost the crowns when they sinned with the Golden Calf. Moshe collected the crowns and offers them to us on Shabbat, the day on which we can experience the level of Olam Habah/World to Come that we have earned.

The Crowns also reflect the teaching of the Zohar that each letter of our prayers is raised to heaven by an angel, and the angels if empowered by our prayers, dance around each other as they fly to heaven, creating new combinations of letters and words, that all go to decorate the Divine Crown. The Zohar also teaches that each Mitzvah we perform can fly upward and decorate the Divine Crown. As we enhance the Divine Crown we are actually preparing the Crowns we will wear in the World-To-Come. They will be an exact reflection of our efforts and , therefore, we will be able to fully relate to and enjoy the Shechina – The Reflection of the Level of Relationship Achieved by The Perfected Community – without any dissonance.

The Soul in its natural state cleaves to God. We do not need to create a new reality that seems so beyond us. D’veikut – Attachment to God – is the natural state of the Soul. That is why the Ramchal adds the words Teshuva – to Return to our natural state.

We also found the three levels of barriers repeated.

Author Info:

Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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14
Jun

Rachmanism and Macedonian Fruit Salad

by admin in Spiritual Growth

Once again I was fooled by a word. I was reading as I waited for my order of Macedonian Fruit Salad and saw the word “rachmanism”. I automatically associated it with the Hebrew “Rachman” – a compassionate person. I was wrong. It means: “The exploitation and intimidation of tenants by landlords.” Once again, something proved to be the opposite of what I expected. At least I had my fruit salad for which to look forward. (In case you are wondering; it was the only selection on the menu that did not have gluten, fish, or vegetables. I am willing to eat fruit under such dire circumstances.) I have never been to Macedonia, but I, as many, associate Macedonia with Philip and his son, Alexander the Great. Hhmmm, what would make a fruit salad Macedonian? I expected large pieces of colorful fruit. There would probably be some strange fruit with potent tastes. The chef would certainly cut the pieces into the shape of swords, spears and shields. Once again, I was wrong. A Macedonian fruit salad is a regular fruit salad with chopped up melons and a few strawberries. They were fortunate that Alexander the Great wasn’t there. He definitely would not have been happy.

We often allow words to pass us by without really considering their meaning. Bitachon is one of the big ones. “I have Bitachon,” is a constant refrain. The problem is that most people have no idea what it means. In fact, Bitachon as a noun does not appear anywhere in the Bible. It is always a verb!

Everybody “knows” that Elijah shows up at a Brit Milah. Does anyone know why?

I recently asked people to list for what they had prayed during Mussaf on Shabbat. (I asked after services were over.) No one knew. They said the words, but they might as well have chanted about rachmanism and Macedonian fruit salad, for all their awareness!

I was having lunch with one of the most aware people I know. I am convinced that he has a holy soul despite his pride in being a heretic. He quickly made it clear that the topic was not for discussion. He listens carefully to the words of Torah and prayer. He treats them with great reverence. This friend, one of the most reliable people in my life, is exactly the type of person for whom I formed The Foundation Stone. I want to rid the world of Rachmanisms and Macedonian Fruit Salads. I want to fill the world with people who pay attention to the words they speak and study. Please join me. Use The Foundation Stone to ask all your questions about Judaism, Torah, Jewish Mysticism, Kabbalah, Customs and laws. Let’s develop a community of people who not only mean what they say but actually know what they are saying.

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14
Jun

How to Pray?

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Prayer, Spiritual Growth

I need help understanding Moshe’s prayer at the end of Beha’alotecha: “Moshe cried out to God, saying, “Please, God, heal her now!” Rashi offers two explanations for this concise prayer: 1) Moshe did not want Israel to criticize him for spending too long in prayer while his sister suffered. 2) Moshe did not want Israel to complain that he spent more time praying for his sister than he did praying for them.

I took a poll this past Shabbat, asking people; “If, God forbid, someone close to you was seriously ill, would you pray concisely, as in, “Please God, heal her!” or, would you pray a more elaborate prayer?

I asked 25 people. Only one immediately understood that I was asking about Moshe’s prayer for Miriam. 20 people answered that if they thought about it, which they probably would not, they would pray concisely. 5 argued that a longer prayer is more effective.

Why is Rashi so bothered by Moshe’s prayer?

How could he be criticized for a long prayer while his sister was suffering if he was praying for her healing? Can we infer that we should not pray a long prayer for someone who is ill? Halacha reminds us to not pray a long prayer at someone’s bedside as it may make him or her nervous that he or she is in more danger than he or she previously thought, but there is no mention in Halacha of praying for too much time while someone is suffering.

Miriam was not suffering as much as she was ashamed. Is that the key to understand why Moshe could not pray at length? Did Moshe’s prayer work at least to shorten the time of her suffering?

How could Israel possibly complain that Moshe had not prayed quite elaborate prayers for them?

If Moshe was so concerned, how could he pray 515 prayers to be allowed into Israel? Would Israel not complain that he did not pray 515 times for them to be allowed to enter Israel after the sin of the spies?

When we ask someone to pray for us, would we prefer a concise or lengthy prayer?

Author Info:

Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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11
Jun

i-Awaken: Rabbi David Lapin: Behaaoltecha

by admin in Music of Halacha, Spiritual Growth

Parshat Beha’alotecha and Shelach 5769

© Rabbi David Lapin, 2009

Halacha synchronizes us and unites us in ways that chronology and geography cannot.

Two events are chronologically synchronized if they occur at the same moment irrespective of where in the world they occur. Halachick synchronicity is different. It is a fascinating idea different from the idea of chronological synchronicity.

Halachik synchronicity occurs when two events happen at the same moment of the day in their respective locations. So an event at sunrise in Vancouver is synchronized with an event that takes place at sunrise in Jerusalem even though there are ten hours between those two events. This is because time in halachah is a different idea from time in chronology.

Time in Halacha is a dimension of reality rather than a point on a time line. So for example, one of the dimensions of a “Lulav” is the time of Sucot. The same object in a different time is a palm branch and not a “Lulav.” In this case time defines the object. Similarly, bread during the year is not “Chameitz” (that is the halachik concept of “chameitz”) it changes its status from a kosher object to a non-kosher object just because of the added dimension of the time of Pesach. In fact flour that has been in contact with water for 17 minutes is kosher le’pesach and if it has been in contact with water for 19 minutes it is not. The dimension of time changes its status irrespective of its chemical properties.

The time for davening Shachris is from Neitz hachamah (sunrise) to a time four twelfths of a day later. When two people are davening shachris at Neitz they are part of the same nation davening at the same time even though their tefilos, due to geographical reasons, are many hours apart.

When Benei Yisrael celebrated their first Pesach in the desert we are told: “And they performed the avodah of Pesach in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, in the afternoon, in Midbar Sinai” (Bamidbar 9:5). They performed it in desert time, says the Meshech Chochma, not in Egypt time even though they were celebrating an event that happened in Egypt and there was a small difference in the times of noon and sunset between those two locations. This is because time is a dimension of a mitzvah and is determined according to the co-ordinates of the place of the mitzvah. It is for this reason that the whole world celebrated the creation of the sun on the day before Pesach this year, at different times. Even though chronologically we should all of celebrated it at sunrise time in Yerushalayim, we didn’t. We all celebrated it at sunrise t! ime in our own geographies. But halachiklly, we were all celebrating it at the same moment, at the moment of sunrise on the 14th day of Nissan: a difficult concept for the Western mind.

My son Moshe, independently of my thought but at the same moment I was developing it, used a similar idea to explain a Gemarra on Parshat Shelach (the parsha read this week in Israel).

“And all the congregation raised their voices; and the nation cried that night” (Bamidbar 14:1) The Gemarra says: “Hashem said, you are crying for no reason, I will set up this day (Tisha Be’av) as a day to cry for generations to come” (Sotah 35a). The Or Hachaim explains that the Gemarra sees this meaning from the different subjects of the sentence: The congregation raised their voices, but the nation cried.

My son explains that the idea of nation (as opposed to congregation “Eidah”) transcends time. You cannot be part of a congregation today that will meet tomorrow. But Am Yisrael that stood at Sinai, is the same Am (nation) as Am Yisrael today. It is separated neither by place nor by time. That is essential to the very idea of Am, nation. The congregation that raised its voice was a congregation of people living at that time. But the nation that cried cries every year on Tisha Be’Av. We cry simultaneously even if we are in different time zones, we cry simultaneously even if we are in different generations or different centuries. This is the nature of Halachik time. It is this idea of halachik time that creates a sense of unity among our people that transcends both time and place.

I, and many like me, frequently travel across time zones and my family is spread across vast time zones. I am often plagued by the sense of distance and separation that results in a deep, painful feeling of separateness and loneliness. But still I bless my children every Friday night at times that for some of them are not Friday night at all. Yet how comforting to know that in Halachik time, my berachot are synchronized with them. We make Kiddush at the same times, celebrate Shabbat and Yamim Tovim at the same time. Halacha synchronizes us and unites us as a family and as a people in ways that chronology and geography cannot. What magical wonder!

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11
Jun

The Five Languages of Love – Apology

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Relationships, Spiritual Growth

The Five Languages of Apology Can be used for Teshuva

The Five Love Languages Can be used for Prayer and to understand different categories of Mitzvot.

both by Gary Chapman.

Author Info:

Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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